“How many flower children do we have in the house?” Blues Vocalist Kaye Bohler asked fans at her July 13 show held in the middle of Historic Murphy Avenue in Downtown Sunnyvale. Songs Bohler performed included the sassy “The Way I Do Business” and the passionate “Let’s Stay Together.”
Hosted by the Sunnyvale Downtown Association, “Jazz & Beyond” is showcasing a weekly talent lineup this summer, with The Kaye Bohler Band as one of its acts.
Near the stage were 36 round tables covered with linen table cloths. Seats at these tables were first come, first serve. On each table were menus featuring items from 17 participating restaurants in the area. Options included meat kebabs from Dishdash, chicken pot pie from The Oxford, a large two-topping pizza from Il Postale and a cheese and charcuterie plate from Vino Vino. Once an attendee sat down, they could review the menu and drink list. They could call from one to as many different restaurants as they desired to have orders brought to their numbered table.
Nick Ghilarducci, a Mountain View resident, ordered nachos from Off the Rail Brewing Company.
“It’s always nice to be with a group of people,” Ghilarducci said. “There’s a camaraderie here. You can get 500 people on this street.”
“We’ve had ‘Jazz & Beyond’ running for 10 years — it runs every Saturday evening from July through August,” said Mike Johnson, Executive Director of the Sunnyvale Downtown Association. “‘Jazz & Beyond’ is part of an extension of events we put on for our downtown. The Sunnyvale Downtown Association was designed to create a non-profit membership based organization whose mission is to promote, advocate and enhance the vitality of our downtown.
“As you can come and sit down and enjoy this event, you can listen to really good jazz or blues,” Johnson continued. “It’s great music, great food, an experience no other community provides a service similar to. Each ‘Jazz & Beyond’ event is between 5:30-8:30 p.m. This summer, we’re bringing in Grammy winner Tony Lindsay, who is a former singer for Carlos Santana. We’re also bringing in Grammy nominee Andre Thierry. He plays a Creole style fusion that’s done on an accordion.”
During a break from her show, Bohler greeted her fans. Having lived in Sunnyvale for 10 years, Bohler used to attend the Sunnyvale Downtown Association’s meetings. Bohler credited her Southern California roots for nurturing her to be a “rhythm and blues mama.”
“I was one of those girls who was bused from Sierra Madre to Altadena to integrate,” Bohler said. “If I hadn’t been bused, I wouldn’t have learned about Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. I’ve been studying the blues for 30 years. No music is harder to sing because you can’t hide behind anything. The simplicity of an incredible form makes this music great.”
Visit sunnyvaledowntown.com/jazz–beyond.html for details about future “Jazz & Beyond” shows happening this summer.